One of William H. Mumler's

The Man Who Photographed Ghosts

A new book explores the work of William Mumler and the mysteries of spirit photography.
Inaugural festivities for the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, including a military and naval salute, October 28, 1886.


From the day it was inaugurated, the Statue of Liberty has symbolized the tensions between national independence and universal human rights.

The Erotics of Cy Twombly

Poet Joshua Rivkin’s new book about Cy Twombly is “stranger and more personal than a biography.”
Bella Lugosi as Dracula, 1931.

The History of American Fear

An interview with horror historian David J. Skal.
A Columbia Gramophone Grand, pictured in a 1902 Sears Catalog (1948).

Sears’s ‘Radical’ Past

How mail-order catalogues subverted the racial hierarchy of Jim Crow.
Miraikan, The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Tokyo, Japan.

Here Is a Human Being

The Spotify and Ancestry partnership proposes to entertain users based on the narrowest possible conception of who they are.
Soldiers burn Marxist books and leaflets in Santiago, Chile, Sept. 23, 1973, following the military coup that ousted President Salvador Allende.

How We Roasted Donald Duck, Disney's Agent of Imperialism

Why a 47-year old anti-colonialist critique by Chilean dissidents may be newly relevant in the Trump era.
Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in the 1962 film version of Harper Lee's

How Reconsidering Atticus Finch Makes Us Reconsider America

In his new book, historian Joseph Crespino offers lessons drawn from Harper Lee's ambivalent treatment of this iconic character.
Still from

Brett Kavanaugh Goes to the Movies

A film scholar reflects on the image of masculinity depicted in "Grease 2," released the same summer of Kavanaugh's alleged assault.
US soldiers gather around a guitar player during Operation Yellowstone, January 18, 1968.

The Vietnam War: A History in Song

The ‘First Television War’ was also documented in over 5,000 songs.
Leonard Bernstein and Glenn Gould at the piano during a New York Philharmonic rehearsal, 1961.

Who's the Boss?

When conductor and soloist clash, a concerto performance can turn into a contest of wills.
American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin poses at his home in southern France, on November 6, 1979.

James Baldwin’s Ideas and Activism during the 1980s

Baldwin's often overlooked final years of activism during the 1980's.